Griffith man, firm hit with fines, probation in Hammond pollution case

2014-03-14T20:30:00Z 2014-03-14T23:16:13Z Griffith man, firm hit with fines, probation in Hammond pollution caseJim Masters Times Correspondent
March 14, 2014 8:30 pm  • 

HAMMOND | A Griffith man and his environmental firm must pay $200,000 in restitution and fines for illegally dumping waste into region sewers, a federal judge ordered Friday.

U.S. District Judge Philip Simon also sentenced 47-year-old Ronald Holmes to four years’ probation and 100 hours of community service. Holmes admitted he did not have a permit to discharge industrial, sanitary and food-industry related waste into Hammond’s system without a permit during several months in 2008, Hammond federal court records state.

Holmes, the owner of East Chicago-based NH Environmental Group, pleaded guilty last year to violating the U.S. Clean Water Act.

A sentencing memorandum filed by Holmes’ attorney, Jackie M. Bennett Jr., stated that Holmes’ family-owned business had discharge permits in place for the past 30 years until a “merger” with U.S. Liquids in 2008, a leading national provider of liquid waste management services. Holmes and his brother were then contracted as consultants to the business under three-year contracts, the memorandum states.

Federal prosecutors contend Holmes told employees to direct the company’s truck drivers to dispose liquid wastes by regularly discharging tanker truckloads down a drain inside a building in Hammond that Holmes operated.

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